Marketing events: Face to face lead generation or budget sucking vortex?

This week we’re starting a rundown of the top 6 (and 2 worst) B2B marketing strategies for generating executive sales leads. When we’ve covered all eight strategies we’ll reveal which have proven to be the best in order of effectiveness and which ones, well, haven’t. 

We’ve helped our clients build partnerships with companies like Apple, Disney, Gap, eBay, Deloitte, Ford, Google, Nike and countless other big names. We’ve gotten an unparalleled grasp on how lead generation is done at the executive level. 

Today, we’re going to be looking at the pros and cons of events and conferences, but over the course of the next couple of weeks, we’re also going to be looking at:

  • Events and conferences
  • Referrals
  • Webinars
  • Talking on stage
  • Email
  • General content marketing

Marketing events can be one of the best ways to get in front of c-suite executives and get your message across – if those execs are in attendance. Speaking on stage at an event is even better (check out or blog on the subject). Even if you have a sponsored booth in a less than premium location at a marketing event, you’ll have a group of your target audience in one place, with allotted time to listen to you. 

They’re in a buying mentality and if your message resonates the chances of getting a next step towards a sale are really high. You can often get meetings booked in there and then or grab a business card and follow up with them later. 

The problem with events? Under the current global crisis, pretty much every event has been cancelled. Even as lockdowns start to ease, it seems social distancing is going to be around for a long time to come.

Aside from that, when they do happen they’re also crazy expensive and can turn into black holes for your marketing budget. If you want a big stand you’re going to be paying premium money and they’re expensive from man power, travel and logistical perspectives as well. 

When you’re all said and done you’re looking at $40,000 – $100,000 per event. If you’re collecting business cards from people who may or may not lead to a sale, your cost of acquisition for a less than warm lead can run to $1000 a shot.. $33,000 cost of acquisition per client. 

If you’re happy with that kind of RoI – fine, but even then, scalability is difficult. Events don’t happen all the time and it’s difficult to talk to everyone you want. 

Regardless, a lot of the execs I speak to spend six or seven figure sums every year just because their competitors are attending these events. They get dragged into the whirlpool and can’t get out, but it needn’t be like that. 

Email marketing offers a cheaper, scalable solution. Take a look at our article on lead generation through email marketing to find out more.